Yesterday Marco made soft baked pretzels. The recipe called for baking soda; you dip the pretzels in it before they are put in to bake. We knew that you could get baking soda at the local expat store (Kelly’s) but I was curious to see if it was available at any Dutch stores. While doing some Google searches I came across this article from Kiwidutch. I found out that baking soda is zuiveringszout in Dutch and it is more likely to be found at drug stores rather than the local grocery store. Oddly it is cheaper as an import item than at the local Dutch store…
On the way to the expat store we came across an interesting metal sculpture depicting two bicyclists in the rain (note the umbrellas).
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I just noticed the bicycle shop across the street (Top bikes), too. How Dutch!
Some days I feel like I should have a blog which just documents bike photos. Some other bike photos include: Bikes in Delft and Amsterdam || Bikes along a Utrecht canal || So many bikes by Holland Spoor (train station) || All that remains: A lone bike wheel || Beads along bike spokes
Yesterday I came across a purple bike, although the paint was chipping. Looks like it used to be an orange color.
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Here is a close up:
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See? Orange paint!
It seems that The Hague has been working on the areas where people park their bikes. A lot of places had a sign on them (example below) stating that bikes could only be parked here until Tuesday, February 18. Any bikes left there after that time would be removed. You could then go to the central bike storage in the city and pay a fee to get it back – 25 euros! link in Dutch.
It seems that – according to some Dutch articles – that the bike stands are being permanently removed as they can cause damage to the bike when it is knocked over. Their solution?
Chalk lines showing you where to park your bike. Not the most elegant solution, of course. We came back a few hours later after taking this second photo and the entire space was full, and people also placed their bikes against the building just like before – making it even more crowded for pedestrians to pass.
Categories: The Hague
This photo is from a few months ago, and shows the bike area of Holland Spoor. That’s a lot of bikes!
Holland Spoor is one of the transportation hubs of The Hague, along with Central Station. The latter is bigger, although that is mostly because Holland Spoor is classified as a public monument and can’t be expanded.
When I came home from grocery shopping today, I decided to take a picture of the bike that usually sits in our courtyard.
Dutch boy’s bike complete with anti-theft protection (device on front wheel)
I mostly took a picture because of the beads that hang on the wheels of the bike. When I was younger my brother had similar spoke beads on his bike. I always liked the sound that it made, though I fear it probably drove parents nuts…
So, it started snowing today. Not a lot of course, but something:
Today was definitely a slower day. I went to Albert Heijn to pick up some grocery items. I did pretty good in terms of figuring out the language, even correctly figured out that the cashier was asking if I had an extra 20c piece (truthfully all I heard was ‘twintig’ and I guessed). I was thrown off a bit when she asked for my bonus card, as I did not think I picked up any bonus items or anything on discount. But when I looked over the receipt later I did see some savings, so it is probably best to just present it each time.
I wandered over to the library again but was thrown off by later opening hours on Mondays – the library does not open until 12PM. Marco explained that some stores or other establishments still have later opening hours on Mondays, but that practice goes back to when not many stores were even open on Sundays at all.
A few hours before Marco returned home from work I decided to take a crack at organizing his DVDs again. As he had moved around a lot of stuff in his apartment to make room for me and my items, his DVDs ended up being put back in rather jumbled order. Today I just worked on sorting his blue rays and his wrestling DVDs. I still have TV shows and DVD movies to go (whenever). Those tend to be the two largest sections.
Lastly Marco and I watched the 2009 Star Trek movie, the reboot of the original series. I never watched that TV show, although I understand most of the Kirk/Spock/etc jokes that have entered the culture. Growing up I generally watched Next Generation, Voyager, and DS9. But I never got into the last version, Star Trek Enterprise. Even if it did have Scott Bakula from Quantum Leap…
As you know, the Netherlands is notorious for having a lot of bikes in its country. Unfortunately, this one has since been cannibalized – it is (was) a bike right outside where Marco works.
The wheel has been outside for at least three or four months. Apparently the owner didn’t even care about taking his lock when he realized his bike was stolen. So the leaves just keep building up underneath…
Random picture of the day. Here is the replacement bike that Roger bought last month:
Here’s hoping this one doesn’t “wander off” for many, many years!
Note: I took this post idea from a Georgia Peach Abroad – and the concept of rooting for two teams equally.
Of course, I am not yet in the Netherlands. I am still in America, so that means that the coverage is dominated by American athletes. So hearing that there is a sport that will feature a Dutch athlete as a clear favorite means that I am much more likely to tune in (oranje!). This morning was the women’s road race in London and the surrounding area.
When I first turned the TV on, one of the comments was how the Dutch were aggressively attacking. This strategy did not let up at all. Near the end of the race, there were four riders left from four countries: America, Great Britain, Russia, and the Netherlands. I remember thinking: Who do I root for? America or the Netherlands? Although it would have been nice to see both teams medal. At some point the conundrum was solved, as the American had to drop behind after having mechanical issues with her bike.
So it was down to three… and I was trying to not watch, but trying to watch all the same. So nerve wracking! I suppose that I should be glad, since I was rather clueless about the history behind the Dutch rider (Marianne Vols). I later found out that she has a tendency to do very well in races – but fade at the end. But she won!
Of course, after the post-race hugs and congratulations, NBC focused on the rider from Great Britain (partially because it was an English speaking athlete). So that was the end of the Dutch coverage. For now…
When Roger came back from Amsterdam yesterday, he found something missing.
His bicycle seat.
One bicycle, no seat
Apparently they really do take whatever isn’t nailed down. The bike was nailed down, but the seat wasn’t. I am happy to report, however, that the problem has already been fixed (at cost to him of course :/) ! And this time with a seat that isn’t quite as easily removable…